Monday, May 20, 2013

Hey...Think HOPE

I've always been a pain in the rear.  A "little different"...I probably would have been given a label as a child, as it was, I'm just remembering what my mother used to say:

There was a little girl
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Now...I'm not saying she meant it directly towards me...but I sure do remember hearing it a lot.  Don't you imagine I'd have been a better child if I had been weened on mood-stabilizers?  It might have been fun to have been the one everybody in the family walked on eggshells around because I couldn't help my bi-polar.  Instead of getting sent to my room until I could cool off, I could have become a  little tyrant.  If only I had been born a few decades later.  Born too soon.

I've been thinking about my son.  I've been thinking about how I would have done things differently.  One thing that I day I had a beautiful little buddah who sang all the time...the next day my son was autistic and had no understanding of language, and needed $60,000 a year ABA therapy to have a 50% chance of being normal.  Why did I fall for it?  Because, within us is a fear of being a bad parent.  Strange thing is, I didn't become a bad parent until I gave in to that fear.

In time, I came back to my senses.  But it took a good 7 years for me to say that maybe I was wrong to believe the hype.  Maybe I should have understood much sooner that only I (and his Daddy) were responsible for the upbringing of our child.

I remember going into Target, where 4 year old Ben screamed and laid down on the floor.  The noise must have been beyond his ability to take. A clerk said mildly, not to hurt, but the wisdom she had to give:  "You know, we've got to figure out our children before they hit the age of 7." Tears welled up in my eyes:  "She doesn't know he's autistic".   For 3 more years, I felt sorry for myself as a parent.  People just didn't know, I told myself.

But neither did I.  I resented my son.  I never tried to find a way.  I listened to the experts, as I grew farther and farther away. Drugs for school...of course.  Poor, poor Rose.

Then, one day, I had enough. 

"You do that again, it's gonna cost you."
Damn.  He quit.
"Go ahead, if it's worth $20 from your savings."  POWER...parent power.
"You know, if you do that, it's gonna cost you $100, but go ahead, if it's worth it to you. Your choice."

Thank you Jesus.

All of a sudden, this messed up little child on the road to perdition became a likable kid with a big personality. My favorite child.  (My only child).  My emotional twin.

Still, he has dyslexia, which I never did.  Made school real difficult for him, he hated it, felt "bullied by the curriculum." (No matter how hard you try, you will not get it.  Now, get used to it.)

I want those years back. I can't give them back to Ben, but I can make things better.  I can quit judging him, quit seeing everything as a product of autism/adhd/dyslexia.  I can see Ben.  Only Ben.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Right before our eyes...

So much looking for the forest, by observing the veins in the leaves of the trees.  Hey, it's easy to do.

My son is adopted.  At age 12, he was tested for low thyroid function.  His feet were always freezing.  Turns out, he was hypothyroid.  When we met his birth mother at his age 18, turns out, she also figured out she was hypothyroid, and had been medicating for it, for years.  I don't know her status at the time of her pregnancy with my son.  It doesn't change anything.